Firm, Fair & Consistent October 2014

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Firm, Fair & Consistent Newsletter October, 2014

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  • Organization means less stress for schoolIts five minutes before your child has to leave for school. Hes still running around looking for his left sneaker. When he finally gets out the door, you notice his lunch on the kitchen counter. Sound familiar? Organization can be a real challenge for kids. To encourage the self-discipline that will reduce his school-day stress, have your child: Postalistof things to bring to

    school each day. Prepareforschoolatnight.

    For example, he can choose an outfit and pack his lunch.

    Keepimportantitems in the same place each day. A great spot for backpacks is by the front door.

    Dont punish mistakesWe all make mistakes. Let your child know that not all mistakes come with punishment. They are opportunities to learn. When your child makes a mistake: Chooseyourwordscarefully.

    Avoid statements like Not again! or Youre grounded!

    Helpyourchildsee the positive side of the experience. What new skills has she developed in the process of fixing her mistake? What might she do differently next time?

    Praiseherefforts. Let her know youre proud of her for giving it her best shot. Remind your child that you love her for who she is.

    Copyright 2014, The Parent Institute, www.parent-institute.com

    September 2014

    Parents Guiding Students for School Success

    A good nights sleep leads to a good days work in schoolWe all perform better after a good nights sleep. Being well rested is especially critical for students so they can show up at school ready to learn. Yet many children are so sleepy that they have trouble concentrating in class and are unable to absorb what is being taught. Make sure your child goes off to school each day alert and ready to learn. To encourage healthy sleep habits: Establishaschedule. If possible, stick to the same bedtime every night.

    Children who stay up late on weekends can have difficulty resetting their internal clocks on school nights.

    Buildinquiettimeto help your child settle down. About an hour before bedtime, turn off all electronics, lower the volume of music and have your child do a quiet activity, such as reading or working on a puzzle.

    Createroutines. They helps kids make the transition from being awake to going to sleep. For example, your child might brush her teeth, read a book and turn on her night light before you tuck her in.

    Avoidcaffeine. Caffeinated drinks (such as many sodas) can keep your child awake if she consumes them late in the day. Some foods, including chocolate, also contain caffeine.

    Get specific about setting goalsThe beginning of the school year is a great time to talk about setting goals. Help your child: Setaspecificgoal, such as

    getting a certain grade in math. Writedownthesteps hell take

    to reach his goal. He might work on one extra problem every day or review what hes learned at the end of each week.

    Keep track of his progress. If things arent going well, contact his teacher. And always celebrate success!

    Sometimes kids just want to be heard. If your child says, I dont want to do my homework, you can respond with, I understand how you feel. If you could skip it, what would you do instead? Spend a minute or two talking about what each of you would do if you had no responsibilities. Of course, you have to return to reality: Well, unfortunately, we cant always do what we want. I have to do the dishes, and you have to do homework.

    Indus School Michael Underwood, Principal

  • Q: My daughter will be in the sixth grade at school this year.

    Some of the other girls appear to be older and more

    street smart than she is. I worry about peer pressure and

    negative influences such as drugs and alcohol. Am I needlessly

    concerned at this age?

    A: Your concerns are valid. And it is not too early to have a discussion with your child about substance abuse. We all want kids to say no to drugs and alcohol, but it isnt always

    as easy as it

    sounds, especially if theyre offered by friendseven in elementary

    school! Having a conversation now about how to handle potentially

    dangerous and risky situations will help instill the values you want

    her to carry with her throughout her school careerand beyond.

    Here are three helpful strategies to use

    with your child:1.Role-play. Thinking of responses ahead

    of time can help your child make good

    decisions. Talk about what she might

    say if shes offered drugs or alcohol.

    For example: Idontneedthattohavefun.

    Ilikemybrainthewayitis.

    Ineedtostayhealthytoplaysoccer.

    2.Encourageapact.There is safety and power in numbers. Suggest

    that your child agree with one or more friends not to use drugs or

    alcohol. Your child might even create a document for everyone to

    sign. Share copies with the other parents.

    3.Makeacontract.Agree that if your child ever needs to leave a

    situation, she can call you and you will come and pick her upno

    questions asked.

    Positive language builds perseveranceYour child has been learning a new math skill, but he doesnt understand it. Hes discouraged and wants to give up. But studies show that kids will keep working on a problem if they believe they can figure out the answer. The words you use can make a difference for your child. Saying things like Youre not there yet, but I know youll get it or Youre getting there tells him that you believe in him and that he can get the answer if he just keeps trying.

    Use occasional rewards for motivationYour childs motivation should come from inside that feeling of pride he gets from reaching a goal. But sometimes even the best students find it hard to stay motivated to finish a tough assignment. When this happens, its okay to give your child an occasional reward for his hard work. If your child needs that extra push to help him complete a project: Lethimpicksomething (within reason) that will encourage him to

    stick with it. The prize might be playing ball, reading a comic book or watching a TV show.

    Makesuretherewardmatchesthework. Two hours of TV is too much for finishing a 15-minute assignment.

    Of course, success in school is its own reward. But an occasional treat from Mom or Dad can also be a great motivator. Celebrate a job well donehead out for ice cream!

    Firm, Fair & ConsistentGuiding Students for School Success

    Publisher: Phillip Wherry Editor: Erika Beasley

    Illustrations: Maher & Mignella, Cherry Hill, NJ.Copyright 2014, The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc.

    P.O. Box 7474, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-7474 1-800-756-5525

    www.parent-institute.comISSN1541-437X

    Copyright 2014, The Parent Institute, www.parent-institute.com

    September 2014

    You are a valuable partner in success

    Research consistently shows that when parents are involved with their childrens school, their chil-dren show a significant improve-ment in behavior and academic development. You are a busy parent, but when it comes to nurturing your childs school success, simple things can make a huge difference. You should: Makesureyourchild attends

    school on time every day. Askaboutschool every day. Encourageyourchild to do her

    very best. Monitorhomework. Providebasicresources at home.

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